Bridgestone Racing Series Round 1
June 22, 2001
My childhood friend Greg Hellman and I headed out of town early Thursday morning. It took all day to drive to Bowmanville, Ontario (about an hour east of Toronto). So when we got there I went for a brief run, showered and went straight to bed.
The next morning I went to the driver's meeting. It was very long but very informative (not to mention mandatory). The weather was rainy and foggy, not ideal for racing though I would have liked to race in it.
As I waited there I knew there was nowhere else I'd rather be. Regardless of whatever has happened in life, whatever other unfulfilled hopes, and whatever personal sacrifices had been made I was happy.
Later in the day the sun came out and the track dried. I was fitted to my car and went out for the 20 minute practice session. That would be the only practice all weekend. Immediately I went out and started to shake the cobwebs off. It'd been a while since I drove these cars.
Everything went ok and I came in to wait for our qualifying session. It would also be 20 minutes in duration. Our fastest lap times would determine our starting positions. I went out and started to push harder and harder. But then I was black flagged, meaning I had to go into the pits.
Since I hadn't done anything wrong I knew there must have been a problem with the car. Apparently the skid plate at the back of the car was coming off so I lost about 8 minutes of qualifying while the mechanics fixed it. Of course I also lost 2 laps coming in and exiting the pits. So I ended up losing more than half of my session and qualified 9th.
In the race I had a few close calls. On the first lap someone spun in front of us. He was in 3rd or 4th place at the time and we all jumped on the brakes to avoid him. He was facing me when I got there and I was able to drive around him without going off the track.
Several laps later a car in front of me went to pass the car in front of him on the inside. He couldn't pull it off and had to go straight, forcing the other car to go straight as well. They both rejoined the race but had lost position by then. So I had moved up to 6th.
I was pushing 5th place but couldn't quite pass him before the end of the race. I wasn't too happy with the result but, considering my poor qualifying performance, 6th was not bad. Greg and I talked it out and I came up with a few ideas for the next day. Then we went off to Toronto for dinner and I put it out of my mind.